After an agonising wait it was finally made official last week that Pokerstars is indeed buying Full Tilt Poker, and there has been further news forthcoming indicating that things are now progressing nicely. Pokerstars has confirmed that the first payment of $225 million due to the US government as part of the forfeiture agreement has now been made, so the focus can turn to relaunching the Full Tilt Poker client.
The man formerly known as FTPDoug (poker room manager Shyam Markus) has resurfaced to provide updates and give answers to the multitude of questions about the relaunch, and whilst it seems that plenty of minor issues remain undecided there is at least a clear timescale. The date by which we will once again be able to see a confused rooster playing against an angry ninja is November 6th, and possibly earlier than that if things go smoothly between now and then. Shyam has promised that he will have more news to follow soon, and if anybody is really keen to get updates straight from the horse's mouth you can add FTPMarkus on Twitter.
Facebook ventures into real money gaming
There was further promising news for the future health of online poker when it emerged that Facebook is to start offering a real money gaming product. For now it is just a bingo game going by the name of Bingo Friendzy, but just the very fact that real money will be changing hands is seen as potentially great news. It has long been rumoured that Facebook has been looking to get involved in the online poker scene with Zynga Poker, and Bingo Friendzy is seen by many as a stepping stone to that actually happening. A whole legion of play money customers suddenly being encouraged to convert to real money play by a brand such as Facebook should provide a much needed injection of extra cash and recreational players to the poker economy.
Mad Marvin wins WPT Cyprus
The occupied territory of North Cyprus was a controversial addition to the World Poker Tour for season 8 back in 2009 and the resulting poor turnout of just 181 players for the main event appeared to have confirmed to WPT organisers that there are far better venues to host prestigious tournaments when it was subsequently dropped from the schedule for season 9. However, for some reason it was back on the tour again for 2012 as the curtain raiser for WPT season 11, and this time around it did manage to attract a more impressive 329 entrants. Last man standing of those 329 was "Mad" Marvin Rettenmaier who took home $287,784 after he eliminated every other player at the final table. There is clearly method in the madness though as it was only three months ago that Rettenmaier was celebrating his last WPT victory when he took down the $25,000 championship event at the Bellagio. The German becomes the first player ever to win back to back WPT titles, adding to a storming 2012 in which he also took first place in a side event at the EPT grand final in Monte Carlo.